It’s impossible to accurately grade a team’s draft class right after it ends. However, the Milwaukee Brewers 2012 draft class has had plenty of time to prove themselves in the minor leagues.
The major league production that the 2012 class is very small. The Brewers had back to back picks near the end of the first round after the free agency loss of Prince Fielder. They used those picks on Clint Coulter, a power hitting catcher, and Victor Roache, a power hitting outfielder. Coulter moved to the outfield shortly after and has struggled to reach Double-A. Roache struggled to set himself apart as well and has since been traded to the Dodgers for cash.
Roache holds the title of the 28th overall pick that year. Coincidentally, the Texas Rangers selected Lewis Brinson right after Roache. It just goes to show the chance nature of the draft. But luck wasn’t on the side of the Milwaukee Brewers that time. Also, Brett Phillips was a sixth round pick in the 2012 draft.
Two other early picks, Mitch Haniger and Anthony Banda, were packaged together in the trade for Gerardo Parra in 2014. The flip of Parra to Baltimore brought Zach Davies to the Crew. Tyler Wagner, another early pick was sent to Arizona in a separate trade as part of the Jean Segura deal that saw Chase Anderson, Aaron Hill, and Isan Diaz come to Milwaukee. So, while none of these early picks made any impact themselves on the Brewers, they still played a part in constructing this roster.
Damien Magnifico is the only other early round pick to have made the major leagues. The fireballer was traded early in the 2017 season after being a fifth round selection. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to reach his potential yet.
In fact, there has only been one player from this entire 2012 draft class that has made any impact with the Milwaukee Brewers. That is the 31st round pick, Brent Suter. The lefty made several starts in 2017 and did very well in most of them. He figures to be in competition for starts in 2018 as well but is more likely to pitch in long relief.
Other than that, the draft class is weak. The best production anyone from this class has done is being trade bait. Haniger boasts 16 homers in 2017 for the Mariners. Adding a .282 average before an injury is a good start. Banda still has rookie status and Wagner hasn’t done much.
Tyrone Taylor plateaued at Double-A and hasn’t been able to progress and Coulter couldn’t get out of High-A for the longest time. Now that he’s an outfielder, it’s going to be even more difficult for him to reach the big leagues with this organization.
Frankly, the failure of the top picks in this draft class to have any success was a part of the reason the Brewers are rebuilding now. The plan for the college bats at the top of the class to help this team is not working out. But they weren’t able to progress. The farm system was weak because of the failure of this class and led to restocking the system with other talent.
Final Grade: D+
The only reason this grade isn’t lower is because the Milwaukee Brewers were able to turn a few of these prospects into Zach Davies, Chase Anderson, and Isan Diaz. Getting Diaz and Anderson is a stretch. Segura is the headliner Arizona paid for, making Wagner was a throw in. Other than that, only Brent Suter has made any impact with the Brewers and his ceiling has its limits.
The top of the draft class failed. The Brewers went outfield with actually each of their first four picks in Coulter, Roache, Haniger, and Taylor. Haniger is the only one who didn’t fail but he is not on the roster after a trade in 2014. The Brewers had to get two other outfielders from the same class in Lewis Brinson and Brett Phillips.
The draft class cannot be thought of as a success with only one player reaching the Milwaukee Brewers and staying with the team. The 2012 draft set the Brewers back. It left the organization devoid of major league talent thus leading to the rebuild that began in 2015.